How did Bloody Girl Gang started?
Hello! I’m Shawna, I love bloody red lips and ice cold sour beers (do send recs!). Bloody Girl Gang - Born from my personal experiences after leaving a full-time teaching coordinating job in 2017 where I was repeatedly marginalized at for the color of my skin, gender and immigration status. Trained in Character Animation and Visual Development for my BFA and MFA at the same institution but my passion was to work with students on the subject of Color. I've worked with award wining directors and artists and on various productions since 2000. Distraught by the treatment I had received after working for this institution for more than a decade. I needed badly to channel my frustration with art. Let's face it teaching art, grading homework of 120 art students 60 hours a week was definitely not the same as making art for the soul.
During my career as an educator when I was marginalized by the management, I did not receive support from coworkers, many whom I had known since 2004 and it was bloody isolating. Many were scared of the management we called "Executive Office" and could not empathize with the struggles of a woc immigrant over their own livelihood. That fueled the drive to build a community that I wished I could have bloody turned to instead - likeminded folks that I could be unapologetic with of my experiences and not be told to "keep quiet", "apologize for the way your lunch smells" or "go back to your country".
Why the name Bloody Girl Gang?
Bloody, as an adverb, is a commonly used expletive attributive in British English, Australian English, Indian English and a number of other Commonwealth nations. It has been used as an intensive since at least the 1670s. Considered respectable until about 1750, it was heavily tabooed during c. 1750–1920, considered equivalent to heavily obscene or profane speech. Public use continued to be seen as controversial until the 1960s, but since then, the word has become a comparatively mild expletive or intensifier.
Born and raised in a Commonwealth nation - Singapore. Malay is our official language, English is our first and we are not all Crazy Rich Asians (I detest that whitewashing movie) nor assume we are all ethically Chinese. The usage of the word "bloody" is as common as "hella" for us and particularly my Peranakan family. With BGG I wanted to honor my identity as an immigrant living in America and diversify the language here.
Truth be told my journey with this branding hasn't been easy. Some folks had discounted against BGG because of the “mature context”. I had also encountered being cancelled by a big tech company in SF for an event (supposedly to empower local small business) because my brand name might offend some of their employees - Tech bros egos proved to be bloody fragile. THAT is exactly why I stand by reclaiming the stigma of how “Bloody” is unapologetically normal - for British English speaker like myself and the fact that some of us bleed. Bloody hell!
All art you see on here is made in our humble 300 sqft San Francisco home studio that I share with my partner, cat @Cashmerethecat and too many plants. I pride myself to primary work with and support other womxn-owner businesses. Send me a DM if you would like to collaborate 😘
xo Cashmere + Shawna